In SPARK!, a book about quick writes, Paula Bourque offers a powerful teaching tool to help students find ideas, discover their voices and build confidence about writing. Teacher educator Linda Biondi notes the frequent, low-stakes writing can stretch across content areas.
Wanting to fit in is not a new phenomena in the middle grades, writes Valentina Gonzalez. Most adolescents experience the urge to be more like their peers. The sooner kids realize how valuable their identity is – how it’s their special power – the better off they will be.
Future-Focused Learning will drive you to think deeply about your instructional practices and consider what you need to change. Alex Valencic likes the book’s focus on what students both need and want to learn and finds it solidly on-target if occasionally frustrating.
Understanding all aspects of a student’s learning “portrait” is critical for us to ensure their success. Although we typically look at areas like readiness or ability, notes teaching expert Barbara Blackburn, we also need to consider culture, Maslow’s hierarchy, and SEL.
What improves achievement by an average 11 percent, increases appropriate social behavior, improves students’ attitudes, and reduces stress? Social Emotional Learning. Author-educator Marilee Sprenger shares brain-wise strategies to blend SEL into your everyday practice.
It is not the skills or rules of sports that our students will remember from our teaching of physical literacy, writes PHE teacher Anthony De Giorgio, but the environment and experiences we provided that allowed them to not only learn, but to also have fun and be a kid.
Every summer educators ask these questions: (1) How can we lessen summer learning loss? and (2) How can we help build students’ SEL skills? Sarah Tantillo and Meredith Murray share the story of a Summer Bridge program and some useful resources to address both questions.
Filled with thought-provoking ideas on how to meet the social and emotional needs of our students, Amber Chandler’s The Flexible SEL Classroom guides us with ideas and activities to try while meeting the curricular mandates we are given, writes Laura Von Staden.
In addition to explaining the brain science behind adolescent risk taking, John Medina’s Attack of the Teenage Brain! is filled with valuable information to change the way teachers respond to adolescents in the classroom, says educator Elizabeth OBrien.
Given what we know about the adolescent brain, is it realistic to attempt to teach middle school students how to manage their emotions and use their best knowledge and judgment? Emotional intelligence expert Dr. Maurice Elias says it’s not only realistic but imperative.